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Pissing contest 

And you thought the PeaceMaker was Jesus. Apparently it's quite a bit more scatological than the saviour. Or, well, urological, anyway.

The PeaceMaker is a gizmo released this summer; by its proper name, it's the PeaceMaker Toilet Seat Lifter. It's a toilet-seat-attached foot-lever (just like the kind you see at the base of a trash can) for standing-up-to-pee men who are too goddamn lazy, inconsiderate or disinterested to put down the seat after they relieve themselves.

Look, I'm not all that riled up about toilet seats in the vertical; I'm merely setting the scene. I think my relative calm is a function of the vaginas outnumbering the penises three-to-one in my house and of having grown up with a single mom. I've never much had to deal with putting down the seat after the piss-and-shake of so many uncaring men.

Ooops. There I go again with my inflammatory illustrative adjectives.

I sneer to prove a point: The PeaceMaker comes by its name honestly. It's sold as an antidote to domestic strife. "This will save thousands of marriages," writes one gadget blogger. You can buy it through Amazon.com for $29.95. I find humorous the fact that the product's online "Related Searches" function pulls up "garden sprinkler." That's just the root problem here, isn't it?

I'm not so bent on gender stereotyping and even less on-board with the idea that there's some mystical war of the sexes broiling behind every bedroom door. I think everyone gets short-changed when people start talking about how women (or men) supposedly act or think. Women are bad drivers; men never clean the house; men are better at math; women are more peaceful.That kind of bullshit drives me nuts.

But if we're talking toilets, I have this to say: Men ALWAYS leave the seat up; women are ALWAYS driven cat-shit-crazy by it. (Oh, the squabble-free bliss of child-free gay and lesbian homes...) The toilet seat may be the single galvanizing issue for Western women.

Turns out, men see it from a different angle.

A man I know—a man whose name I can't print here because his wife will choke him with his socks if she realizes he's proselytizing his seat-up gospel—believes having the seat up is more hygienic. And he wants it up all the time. Default position: vertical. I can sense women's WTF-faces scrunching up all over the city.

This seat-up crusader says that way the rim, the dirtiest part of the toilet, is exposed more often. And when it's exposed, its filth is recognized, and gets cleaned. A simple wipe, he says, that's all it takes. This seat-up proponent would have no part in the PeaceMaker. His ideal world is opposite to a PeaceMaker world: the seat stays up unless someone's sitting.

Which brings me to numbers. The sitting-to-standing ratio, that is. I will make brief mention here of one of my big toilet beliefs: everyone should sit down to pee. There's just less extra-toilet splash that way. But my hook here is the PeaceMaker, and there's no gadget—that I know of, anyway—that encourages men to sit to pee.

Of four possible gender-split bathroom functions, only one—male urination—can be accomplished, with any modicum of comfort or accuracy, standing.

That makes it three-to-one against the seat up. Ergo? Default: down.

Quit whining, boys. You want to be a peacemaker? Take a page from my book and leave the seat down. And take a page from my friend's book too: while you've got it up, give it a little clean, will ya?

Give us some splash-back. Email lezlie@thecoast.ca.

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